Our Story

In the Beginning

The history of Vineyard Church of Elgin begins in the late 1980's with Ross Nelson. Ross had been a youth pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Geneva, IL, and then was asked to lead Faith's new satellite church in the Dundee area. In January 1990, Ross and his wife, Mary, sensed the Lord's calling to something different and brought the congregation into the Vineyard movement with the blessing of the Lutherans. They moved the church to Elgin and named the new congregation Vineyard Church of Elgin. Ross and Mary pastored here for five years until October 1995, when they were led to return to their hometown of Tomahawk, WI. Later, they started another Vineyard church in Tomahawk.

When the Nelsons left our church, Tom Severson was asked to serve as pastor. He and his wife, Jill, were part of the original Elgin Vineyard church family. Tom has served as lead pastor ever since and is much admired for his shepherd's heart and passion in preaching. Two men have held the position of community pastor: Kevin Kiefer (2002-2009) and Jason Patrick (2013-2019). Both have gone on to start new Vineyard churches: Kevin in Palatine, co-pastoring with his wife, Molly, and Jason in Streamwood, co-pastoring with his wife, Betsy.


Church planting is an important value in the Association of Vineyard Churches. Just as a gardener divides healthy plants to produce vibrancy in another part of the garden, we believe the Lord calls us to replant our own healthy growth into other communities. Elgin Vineyard has planted four churches so far and played a role in establishing two others.
Trinity Vineyard Church  |  St. Charles, IL  (1998)
Vineyard Church of Dupage  |  Wheaton, IL  (2001)
Thrive Vineyard Church  |  Palatine, IL  (2009)
Streamwood Vineyard Church  |  Streamwood, IL  (2019)

Northwoods Vineyard Church  |  Tomahawk, WI
Valley Vineyard Church  |  Chippewa Falls, WI

Our Building

As a church family, Elgin Vineyard worshiped four years in the auditorium at Larkin High School, then 15 years in a converted banquet hall on Fulton Street. In May 2009, the Lord made way for us to purchase our own church home at 220 Division St., in downtown Elgin, which is exactly where we want to be. The cornerstone for this beautiful, historic building was laid in 1905. Over the years it's been updated several times, most recently in May 2017.

By the grace of God, our church completed a capital campaign a few years ago called Vision 2020: Renovate. Click below for more information about all that the Lord accomplished through this campaign!